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Throw In The Towels!

July 30, 2013

I’ll quote a family member recently; “I couldn’t live without paper towels”.   Ummm, c’mon.   A tad dramatic?  The human race seems to have evolved just fine without paper towels.  Or Dunkin Donuts.  Or rotisserie baseball for that matter.  ‘Can’t live without’ items would be food, water, shelter, beer, etc.

The USA seems to have become the USOE, or United States Of Easy.  The easiest cheapest way for everyone!  We have Democracy! We are free!  This what our forefathers fought for!  Wait a minute… maybe not.  These are just habits we’re in.

But how will our hands ever get DRY if you don’t have paper towels?!  There’s a thing called a regular towel.  Our ancestor’s used them.  They were very important, like a hoe, axe, or wheel.  They kept these towels near the sink, and when ones hands were wet, they used the towel.  There may be an old video on youtube showing how, or perhaps you can track down the documentary ‘The World Before PT’, quite fascinating.  After the towel was used a handful of times (pun!), it was replaced with a clean dry one.  The old towel was then washed, and readied for it’s next use. Ahhh, the old timey ways before cable TV!

My very first ‘green action’ was to stop using paper towels, and I haven’t purchased them since I moved to Boston twenty years ago. My hands haven’t been dripping wet for all that time either.  Thus the dish towel.  Even at ONE ROLL A WEEK (safe estimate), I’ve saved 1040 rolls of paper towels!  Picture them in a huge pile!  That’s quite a bit.

Next time you’re at the big box store, try buying dish towels in bulk instead of the super jumbo pack of paper towels.  Granted the washing and drying of said towels does indeed consume some energy and water, but far less than the staggering amount of paper waste (just to dry our hands).

For cleaning around the house, try micro-fiber cloths. They clean better than paper, are less streaky, and are durable. They’ll last for years, and wash the same way. They also fold nicely next to that towel!

Yes we do use paper napkins, but have started the switch to cloth.  Like anything once you get used to the new habit, everything will be fine. How many paper napkins can we save?  Let’s find out.  There’s always a greener solution. Let’s find ‘em together.

Contact Mike Gioscia @ thegreendad.com

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